How Outlook can be used for automatic time tracking

If our timesheet system could read your employee’s minds and fill out their timesheets for them automatically, would you use it? Okay, well we can’t read people’s minds, but we can actually do the automatic time tracking part.

Meet our new and updated Outlook plug-in that adds time tracking features to Outlook and allow users to allocate customer and project details to appointments. Outlook calendars have most of the information needed in a timesheets. With the customer & project type fields the plugin adds to Outlook, just by using them time tracking is automated.

Using Outlook appointments to create timesheets saves employees valuable time and creates highly accurate timesheets. It’s easier, faster, and more efficient than manually retyping information from Outlook into a timesheet. Employee productivity is also increased as any time saved can be spent on more productive and chargeable work.

Automated time tracking makes timesheet entry easy and fast

An Outlook timesheet is always active within Outlook so users automatically track time as they use their calendar. The benefits of automatic time tracking via Outlook is quickly appreciated by users. Many users tell us they are amazed how much of their timesheet can be completed without any additional work. Everything is automated.

The Outlook timesheet plugin adds timesheet activity fields to appointments (configurable).
Simply choosing a customer / project etc. adds the appointment to the employee’s timesheet.

Using Outlook data makes timesheets so simple and easy to use it is no longer a chore to enter hours. They never have to leave Outlook, they never have to log in to the timesheet, they complete everything in Outlook. They don’t have to log in at the end of the week to update. It is all there.

But wait – there’s more. Most timesheets only allow a user to add events to their timesheet that had already occurred. Our updated plug-in allows users to add future events to their timesheet. If an employee is taking a vacation they can add that event into their Outlook calendar and it will be posted to their timesheet – automatically. No one needs to wait until they return from outside the office to add it to their timesheet. All data is up to date as it happens.

What if a meeting is rescheduled on the Outlook calendar? Not a problem. The rescheduled meeting is moved in the timesheet as well. There is no new system to learn. You are using Outlook.

Customize your Outlook timesheet for your business

Outlook appointments contain much of the same information as a timesheet but miss certain fields such as customer, project, and activity.

We solve this with each organization being able to define the fields they use in Outlook and timesheet. Our plug-in adds your choice to Outlook making automatic timesheet entry faster and more accurate than manual typing.

A calendar timesheet ups the game with a timesheet that looks like an Outlook calendar. It shows all the same information as the classic timesheet, but the calendar format is familiar and friendly without the old school feel of the classic timesheet.

A calendar timesheet is also much more intuitive as you can see instantly where time is missing just by looking at your calendar. Our calendar timesheet seamlessly and automatically includes your Outlook appointments as you create them. This means users just need to add a customer / project to Outlook appointments and it is in your timesheet. It’s simpler, easier, more friendly than the classic timesheet, and users see the timesheet as less of a chore.

The best timesheet app for businesses

Our timesheet system is great for businesses as well. Our app is a Microsoft 365 Integrated App, which makes implementation a breeze. Once installed, the app is automatically deployed to users via the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.

Your IT department will be very happy. There’s nothing for end users to download, install, or update, and no support calls. Once installed, Timewatch and Microsoft takes care of everything for you.

If implementation is a breeze, using the app is a dream. Business benefits include: easier and faster timesheet entry, more accurate timesheets with decreased administrative tasks, and better timesheet analytics. It’s an automatic return on investment.

Time tracking in Outlook is so much easier and faster than a traditional timesheet but Timewatch can provide a classic timesheet to help new users onboard. Both systems can be used together if required.

As the Outlook timesheet is always active within Outlook, users actually track time as they use Outlook. The benefits of automatic time tracking via Outlook is quickly appreciated by users and most say they are amazed how much of their timesheet they completed without realizing.

Automatic Outlook timesheets for all Outlook platforms

Timewatch’s Outlook timesheet supports all versions of Outlook on all devices. The Outlook plugin works with Outlook desktop on PC, Mac and Office 365 in a browser (OWA) and the new One Outlook.

The plug-in is available with all Timewatch timesheet products and can be integrated with virtually any timesheet system – contact us to see if our Outlook timesheet can be linked to your timesheet system.

Who is Timewatch?

Timewatch are specialists professional services solutions including secure timesheets, automatic time tracking with Outlook, resource scheduling and professional services automation software. Timewatch is ISO 9001 and 27001 certified, we provide public cloud, private cloud and on-premises solutions.

Contact us

If you’d like to learn more about our Outlook timesheet plugin, see it in action or find out how it could integrate Outlook with your current timesheet system, please contact us.

Book a free call or live product walk through with a product specialist using the form to the right.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of Outlook time tracking?

People fill timesheets in arrears and often look back in their calendar to remind themselves what they were doing in previous days to help them fill in their timesheet. Being able to import appointments into timesheets makes this easier and saves employees time, using a plugin inside Outlook makes this even easier and much faster as timesheets are created as employees create appointments. By the time people come to complete their timesheet, it is mostly complete.

Benefits include:

  • Easier, faster time tracking and timesheet entry
  • More accurate time entries as they are based on actual calendar events
  • Fewer missed events and unaccounted time
  • Timesheets completed and available for billing and reporting weeks earlier
  • Fewer missing timesheets and less administrator time spent chasing missing timesheets
  • Saves employees time, more time available for productive work
  • Increased employee productivity through increased availability
  • Increased employee chargeability
  • Increased billings

How is the plugin installed?

Timewatch’s Outlook timesheet plugin is a Microsoft 365 Integrated business line app. It is installed once through your organization’s Microsoft 365 Admin center. Once installed, you simply check the employees you want to be able to use the app, and that’s it, the app is automatically added to the user’s Outlook menu. There is nothing for end users to download and install, no security or installation issues, no upgrade issues or support issues. Timewatch and Microsoft take care of everything for you.

I can't find the plugin in the Store?

Yes, that’s right. The plugin is a business app not a personal app downloaded from the store, it is a business app your IT team install. It is simple and easy to install with the Microsoft 365 admin center, but if your IT team need help we provide this free of charge.

What is a Microsoft 365 Integrated App?

Microsoft Integrated Apps gives you the flexibility to deploy and manage single store apps, bundled apps, and a custom business line of apps from a single location. These apps can be built by Microsoft or by our 3P Microsoft 365 partners. The ability to find, test, and fully deploy purchased and licensed apps by Microsoft partners from the Integrated apps portal provides the convenience and benefits your organization requires to keep business services updated regularly and running efficiently.

Can I integrate time tracking apps with Microsoft Outlook easily?

Yes, it is easy to integrate time tracking with Outlook. Integration is setup once for your organization, the turned on for the employees you want to be able to use the app. Users don’t need to do anything, once it is turned on for them, the app is instantly available on their Outlook menu.

Is it possible to track multiple projects efficiently using Outlook Calendar?

Yes, absolutely! Users can log time to multiple projects.

How does automatic billing hours tracking work within Microsoft Outlook?

The plugin adds new fields to appointments, allowing employees to specify the customer / project appointments are related to. With this, appointments have all the information needed for their timesheet and for billing to customers. See our Time®&Money system for more details on billing.

Is privacy maintained when using automatic time tracking for teams in Outlook?

Yes, your team’s data remains confidential and secure while still providing valuable insights into productivity levels and resource allocation. Additionally, employees can configure how they want private outlook appointments to be managed – synced, but with no information included, or ignored.

Why is an Outlook plugin better than a timesheet that imports from Outlook?

Both systems save employees time in timesheet entry, but an Outlook plugin can saves more than all the time taken to enter a timesheet in a traditional timesheet:::

  • Timesheet open when Outlook is open – no need to log into a separate timesheet app
  • Customer / project can be allocated to the appointment and made visible in the appointment body, so no need to type this information into Outlook – choosing from pick lists is faster than typing.
  • Timesheets entries are created when appointments are made, no need to add to the timesheet later
  • All changes made to appointments are automatically synced to the timesheet, no need to remember or make notes of changes
  • Even non appointment time can be added via Outlook
  • Timesheet progress is visible in Outlook, natural desire to complete tasks prompts people to complete their timesheet as they go
  • Simpler, easier, faster, less intrusive than a traditional timesheet with import features.
  • Users view the automated time tracking as a benefit and timesheets are no longer seen as a chore
  • Higher levels of user acceptance

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